LOST Theories - DarkUFO

Let me start by saying that this is my first-ever theory posted on DarkUFO. I have done a fair share of commenting and lots of spoiler-browsing, poll-voting, and theory-reading, especially over the last year or so, but this is my first theory. I hope you enjoy it and that my insight might somehow prove meaningful to you or move you to consider something you previously hadn't. Anyway, without further ado:

Before writing about the end of LOST, I wanted to watch it again, mainly because it was a lot to digest but also to “catch” more stuff. Now, having finally watched it a second time, I’m ready to write.

If you’re actually planning on reading this, you’re probably either A) incredibly invested in the show and were a total addict (much like myself) or B) are like me in that after watching something so epic that you’ve emotionally invested yourself into and that has given you so much to think about, you also need to think it through. I can’t just immediately move on from something like that without giving it some real thought. I just watched The Hurt Locker for the second time, and it made me think maybe even more than the first time I watched it. After it was over all I wanted to do was talk about it, really talk about it, and figure out what it all meant. I think that’s probably why I like Coen brothers’ movies so much.

Anyway, having separated myself a little bit from the finale and having seen it again, I am ready to write.

First of all, let me say that I had absolutely no complaints about the finale – well, no real ones anyway. That is not to say that I didn’t have problems with the show as a whole or the final season in its entirety. Anything that is scrutinized to the point that I myself and others have done with LOST will almost certainly come up short in some areas by our own individual estimations.

First, let’s talk about the good.

I loved the character resolution. Seriously, I don’t think I could have asked for better, more meaningful ends to the characters’ story arcs. What I loved so much about it is that characters like Richard, smaller characters that weren’t really at the forefront but who I was still very emotionally invested in, were even given satisfying conclusions, I felt. The scene where Miles plucks Richard’s first grey hair from his head and Richard smiles because, as he says, he realizes he wants to live. Amazing. That coupled with his (unconventional) reunion with his dead wife in the Richard-flashback episode “Ab Aeterno” and the revelation that he is indeed with her (makes more sense now with the flash-sideways explained…which, I guess we should all stop calling it that now…) sealed the deal for me on that end.

I could elaborate more as to what I felt were satisfying conclusions to the other characters too, like Claire, Desmond, etc., but I won’t. On to more important stuff.

The Purgatory-esque flashes were also resolved in a very meaningful, satisfying way, I thought. It’s kind of ironic: Everyone always called out the writers saying, “It’s Purgatory! It’s Purgatory!” in regards to the Island, and they kept denying it. Now they introduce this seemingly alternate reality, and we’re all thinking, “What the hell does this mean? What’s going on here?” And it’s basically LOST’s version of Purgatory. Ha...they certainly do have a sense of humor.

Anyway, I felt that the flash-sideways, for lack of a better term, offered a means for a very satisfying emotional resolution with all the characters. Of course I don’t believe in the worldview as presented by the show, but I didn’t expect to. Just because I didn’t agree with LOST’s presentation of truth and eternity doesn’t mean I couldn’t appreciate it for what it meant and how it functioned within the context of the show.

Not only were these people all destined to be together on the Island, they were essentially connected to one another on a much larger level, hence them needing to oftentimes physically connect with one another by touch in order to fully “awaken.” This group of people was special, but everyone is part of their own group and has a responsibility, a loyalty, to fulfill to their other companions. I think this is why Ben didn’t move on with all of our other Losties. He knew the truth and basically had the task before him to pull a Desmond of his own: to awaken Danielle and Alex and right the wrongs he had done them both in the previous lives.

LOST’s message was that you can’t do it on your own (“Live together, die alone”). What’s most important are the relationships you have with those people who have influenced your life the most and helped you to overcome the darkest parts of yourself, to let go of the bitterness you may be holding onto. Whatever it is, each of the Losties had a self-destructive, recurring trend in their lives. Kate ran, Jack had to fix things, Sayid was a killer, Locke struggled with his faith. The Island fixed that, but this Purgatory that they created together tied up all the loose ends. In some respects, these people that we grew to know and love still needed to let go:
Jack still needed to come to terms with his father and forgive him (his son was someone he created to try and resolve this, I think, although ironically from the position of father figure).
Kate needed to once and for all end her desire to run.
Sayid died believing he was a killer and sacrificed himself. He needed to believe in himself and make his own path, rather than fall in line with the judgments that others made of him.
Locke was a man of faith, but his last thought was still “I don’t understand.” He needed to understand and have his faith reassured (signified by his standing up and out of the wheelchair at Ben’s instigation outside the church before heading in).

Obviously the themes of LOST are many. But another that was especially highlighted in this last season I think was belief, faith. After we saw Jacob be initiated by his “Mother” in the Island flashback episode “Across the Sea,” everyone started to theorize about how the wine was magical and this and that. They were missing the point. Jack drank water, still blessed by some ancient, learned incantation beforehand by Jacob though. But then Hurley just takes a drink. It wasn’t about the formula, about making sure every little element was right. What matters is that you believe.

I’ve even considered that maybe all these “rules” that are mentioned that are basically set up by the Protector of the Island, what if they weren’t every really rules at all? Jacob and his brother couldn’t hurt each other according to their faux Mother. But they did, didn’t they? A lot. Maybe the point was that since they believed they were rules and that certain things couldn’t be done, they simply weren’t. I don’t know…

Moving on, Jack’s resolution was phenomenal. I really don’t think I could have asked for a better end to his character. He came so full circle from Man of Science – unbelieving, having to understand – to Man of Faith – believing, not needing to understand every little detail but just doing what’s right because it needs to be done, and really understanding the beauty of the man who tried to help so much along the way before he would, or could, listen: John Locke. Jack’s eye closing and seeing the plane fly above him was incredible. It ended where it started.

Let me also take right now to say that I think it’s sort of ridiculous and also pretty funny how probably the two most emotional scenes for me to ever watch in LOST hit that peak by taking an already moving scene and then adding an animal’s incredible loyalty and devotion: Walt & company heading off on the raft in the season one finale and Vincent swimming after them and then turning back and Jack laying down to die and Vincent coming and laying down by his side. Whew…

All that to say, I still had complaints about LOST as a whole, things I didn’t like about the final season I guess you could but only in that it was the last season, not about the last season’s structure or anything. What I mean is, it bothers me when the creators defend the show saying “it’s always been about the characters.” Yes. It has. And I thoroughly enjoyed the resolution to the characters. That element was perfect, in my opinion. But LOST was also about the mystery, about the intrigue. I do think it was stupid for people to come out of the finale complaining that all they were watching LOST for was to get the answers to their questions, and the finale didn’t pay off. Let me say A) it was pretty clear by wayyy before the finale that the questions were not the focal point of the writers’ concerns and B) I can appreciate being intrigued by the questions, but if you didn’t care about the characters at all then you shouldn’t have been watching the show.

That being said, for those of us in the middle camp who both loved characters like Jack and Locke, etc. AND were incredibly perplexed by all the mysteries of LOST, we were disappointed in some sense with the show as a whole. I like the fact that many questions can be answered by digging around and finding clues within the narrative of the show; I don’t like everything being spoon-fed to us. But things like Walt’s powers, the Hurley bird, the mysterious food pallet drop, and more are just annoying left unresolved. I think the writers dug themselves into a hole. I don’t think they created too many mysteries for themselves to possibly answer. I think they created a lot of mysteries that they realized could not be realistically or plausibly answered within the context of the show. And when they tried, it came across as very forced (see Hurley’s conversation with Michael about the whispers – although I shouldn’t be complaining; I’m glad we got an answer there that felt forced rather than no answer at all).

The final season was great in other ways though. I think it more than any other season rewarded truly devoted watchers of the show, in most ways. What I mean is that there was a wealth of subtext written into many of the scenes (especially the flash-sideways ones) that isn’t really easily picked up on without an extensive knowledge of past seasons. Lots of Jack and Locke’s conversations about Locke’s condition and Jack wanting to fix him copied sometimes word for word bits and pieces of dialogue from past seasons between the two. Lots of scenes and actions (and even camera angles!) within scenes remarkably mimicked past seasons’. It was pretty rewarding.

To bring everything to a close, I think I’ll list some bests and worsts and favorite this and thats.

Worst Line of Season 6: When, after Sun finally reunites with Jin and remembers how to speak English once again, Frank says, “Looks like somebody got her voice back.” Wow. No words. I think I died a little there though.

Favorite Character: Whew! I think I’d have to say Jack. Again, his story arc (and completion) was just so amazing and epic and meaningful. He’s followed up closely by Locke though. What a horribly tragic but just so darn cool character.

Best Episode of Season 6: Probably “The End,” the finale. Followed closely by “Ab Aeterno,” the Richard flashback episode, and “The Candidate,” the one where Sun & Jin and Sayid died.

Best Episode of the Series: Wow. This is so hard. Probably either “The End” again or the Season 3 finale “Through the Looking Glass,” the one where Charlie dies and Jack radios the freighter and Ben is beat up and Hurley runs over the Other in the Dharma van. “The Constant,” the episode where Desmond calls Penny, was pretty damn fantastic, too.

Best Season: I guess I’m gonna have to go with Season 1, but I really have no real way to answer this with any degree of certainty. I really like Season 2 a lot as well…and Season 4 was amazing. I think I’m going to have to stick with the first season though.

Well, I think that’s about it. If you’ve made it through all of this you’re probably very nostalgic when it comes to LOST, even now that it’s only been over for a few weeks.

Oh, and a couple more things that I’m thinking of now that, who knows, you may find interesting:

This is pretty cool: It’s a summary of LOST’s season by season progression in terms of the focus (slightly modified by me). It really starts to make it all make more sense, on a large scale view I mean. That being said, a lot of my thoughts regarding the finale and the show as a whole aren’t fully original with me. They’re of course influenced by others’ writings and reflections of their own mixed with my own feelings and reflection. I like to think about a show I’m watching, or about anything I watch really, and no show has ever made me think as much as LOST. I love it for that. No show has ever meant as much to me as LOST either. I doubt that it’ll ever be topped, and, to be honest, I’m not sure I want it to. Anyway, the season by season large-scale analysis:

Season 1: Mundane and verisimilar situations: a plane crash and survivors dealing with the search for food and water.

Seasons 2 and 3: Next, a science perspective of the place; they start to wonder "how" the island works and how these things happen. They then meet the Dharma Initiative and encounter its scientific experiments.

Seasons 4 and 5: Physics takes place. They start to wonder "when" and "where", dealing with natural and supernatural situations, things that transcend regular science and conventional, rational understanding of the world.

Season 6: The next logical step of human mind: faith. Where science, physics and logic aren’t enough, or can’t fit. They start to wonder “why,” facing the perspective of a "God", some superior being responsible for everything. Then, they realize a spiritual view of life.

Another thing about LOST’s constant recurring theme of Science vs. Faith. I think it’s so cool how so many aspects of the show, so many occurrences, can be understood both on a scientific level as well as on a more spiritual level. For instance, on one hand Desmond crashed the plane by failing to promptly push the button, which in turn created a massive, ever-expanding magnetic field that caused Oceanic Flight 815 to crash. But on the other hand, Jacob brought them there, to the Island. Their destiny was to end up there. Again, another example: The exotic matter beneath the Island that made it so special was incomparable amounts of electromagnetic energy. But it was represented by light: It was the spiritual life force of the Island, the power that fuels and unites life, death, and rebirth, and everything in between.

LOST has been good to me. I’m not irrationally holding on. I’m glad it ended when it did without dragging on and the way it did. Yes, I have my complaints – I felt cheated on some level by the mythology and questions – but overall, the rich, fleshed out themes, highly developed characters, and mysterious intrigue was more than I could have bargained for.

I hope you enjoyed LOST as well, but if, even after the finale, you didn’t, I respect your opinion. I can understand. But for me, I loved it.


(Note: Elements of specific theories posted by users j-dog and agraciotti were especially incorporated into this reflection-theory hybrid of mine, just to give credit where credit is due.)

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